The Sporting Clubs

of Niagara

Volume 7, Number 4 Nov. 2001

Special Registration Issue

Message from the President

Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that mandatory registration was an event that was years away. Now it is in our face! Well, not really. The government wants you to start registering now, but there is no legal requirement for you to do it until next fall. Nevertheless, registration is the news of the day, and SCON has shifted into high alert to help you sift fact from fiction.

This issue of our humble newsletter is devoted to bringing methods with which to protect yourself, and engage in some legal activism with which to show our government your displeasure for being treated like a second class citizen. Those of you who attended our highly successful Firearms Forum 2001 will have already seen much of the material here, but because many of you may have missed the Forum, we present it again for your benefit. Pass this information on to your friends!

We continue to receive many calls from members (and quite a few freeloaders) regarding firearms law. If we get stumped by any of the questions, we work hard until we can get an answer for the person who asked. In many cases, the person asking was AFRAID to call the police because they thought (in some cases with good reason) they might get busted under some obscure point of law or another. We are proud to say that in most cases, not only are we able to give advice that clears up the problem, but in many instances we are also able to broker a solution with the police that satisfies everyone. We don't do it for crooks - just otherwise honest people that have become "caught in the system." If you need help with a firearms related matter, please call us first.

Happy Holidays, and remember ladies - nothing says you love him like a new rifle, pistol or bow under the tree on Christmas morning.

John A. Gayder

Al Feor

It is with great regret that we note the passing of Al Feor on Sept. 16, 2001. Al was one of the best known and well-liked members of the Niagara firearms community. Until his untimely death he very successfully ran the Firearms Education School in St. Catharines. Prior to that, Al ably served the Niagara area and the Niagara Regional Police Service as the local Firearms Registrar.

One of the main reasons Al was able to be so successful while doing a difficult job was because he had a great knack for using common sense and humour to resolve problems, qualities that are all too rare today.

Al was also a faithful supporter of The Sporting Clubs of Niagara and a good friend to many members of the Executive. We will miss him a lot. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Iris, his children and members of his family.

Bill C-15 Update

Bill C-15, which will hopefully solve, among other difficulties, the grandfathered handgun problem for several thousand Canadian gun owners is currently stuck in committee. It was originally supposed to be law by the end of November but the September 11 terrorists attacks and some serious concerns raised about some of the other provisions of the bill have delayed its passage.

If you are one of the people who bought a prohibited handgun between Feb. 1995 and Dec. 1998, our advice to you is to simply sit tight. If C-15 isn't passed into law before the Dec. 31/01 is a sure bet the government will extend the amnesty until the bill is passed. If you still have a concern about this, give us a call.

Muddled Media

This issue's award for the biggest media firearm blooper goes to Jennifer Kennedy writing in our own St. Catharines Standard. According to Ms. Kennedy, the accused murderer "..made what seems to have been a silencer he taped to the end of his .22 gauge shotgun..". Hmmm. Must be one of those new small gauge shotguns used to shoot mice or cockroaches. Our thanks and a TSCON T-shirt go to member KG for pointing out this latest example of media buffoonery.

If Your Old Licence Expires Before You Get Your New One

Suppose you applied for your PAL or POL months ago but the government, with its typical efficiency, failed to provide your new licence before your old one expired. You are now in possession of firearms without a licence, an offence that could net you several years in prison. What can you do? One course of action would be to loan your firearms to a friend or relative who has a current licence to possess firearms in the appropriate class. In other words, someone licenced to possess non-restricted firearms could "borrow" your guns until your licence arrives. If you have restricted firearms they could be loaned to someone with a licence to possess restricted firearms as long a you also gave them the registration certificate(s) for the firearms. This is another example of the mess created because the bureaucrats who wrote Bill C-68 didn't know what they were doing and have created a situation that makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

Chapters Hypocrisy

To help spread the word about Firearms Forum 2001 one of our members asked the manager of the Chapters store at the Fairview Mall if he could post a flyer on the bulletin board. He was told "No" because it was political. Our member stressed that it was not political but was, in fact, a public service. The manager still refused. Our member pointed out the irony of his refusal given the fact that Chapters sells books on guns and hunting but again to no avail. We suggest this course of action: call the store manager to express your displeasure. Purchase your books and magazines elsewhere and tell Chapters that is what you are doing. Contact Chapters Head Office and ask why their manager refused to allow posting of a public service message. The one sure way of getting the attention of the anti-gun bigots is to hurt them financially, so do it!

Farewell to Area Firearms Officer

Niagara's Area Firearms Officer is about to be replaced. After a recent promotion to Sergeant, Mike McAllister will be moving to a different job within the NRP. Mike brought a lot of common sense and diplomacy to the job of AFO. We could always talk with Mike at any time and about anything and these talks frequently averted headaches and heartbreaks for honest gun owners in Niagara that had gotten "caught in the system." Only rarely did we have to "agree to disagree" on certain items, and after we did we could always move on to other areas of concern with no hard feelings. Mike worked hard to learn the Firearms Act and other firearm statutes, and was honest enough to admit their many shortcomings. TSCON will be working hard to develop a similar relationship with Mike's replacement, Detective Constable John Somogyi, and we will keep you updated on this in future newsletters.

Registration Information Sheets

(Thanks to Dave Tomlinson and the NFA)

The following articles deal with strategies to protect yourself from the pitfalls and perils of registering your firearms. In some cases the content has been edited to fit the newsletter. Information sheets with the complete text are available from The Sporting Clubs of Niagara. Contact us if you have questions about any of the following.

Registering Your Firearms As "Unknown"

Under the "new" system you fill out an application indicating barrel length, if it is a only a firearm frame or receiver, make, type, action, if it is "single shot", serial number, gauge or calibre and model for each rifle or shotgun you own, add the $18 fee (after Dec. 18/01) and send it in. No "eyes-on" examination of the firearm is done, and the registration is simply using YOUR (possibly defective) information. We pointed out that few people can identify firearms accurately, and that "unique identification" (their stated goal) cannot be done that way. They explained that each firearm will be eyes-on "uniquely identified" the NEXT time it is transferred, possibly years from now. We pointed out that if THAT identification locates an error on the registration certificate, it is evidence of false information supplied on the current application. THAT can lead to criminal charges under the Firearms Act sections 106 and 109, and up to five years imprisonment for a bad guess on identification. They said that no one would actually lay the charges under FA s. 106/109. We countered with a series of horror stories about abusive enforcement that we have already seen, and declined to place unlimited trust in some police officer or firearms bureaucrat who may not even have been hired yet. We explained OUR programme to deal with the FA s. 106/109 problem. The only SAFE way to register a rifle or shotgun under the current application system is to register it as: Barrel Length - UNKNOWN, frame or receiver - UNKNOWN, make - UNKNOWN, type - UNKNOWN, action - UNKNOWN, single shot - UNKNOWN, serial number-UNKNOWN, gauge or calibre - UNKNOWN, model - UNKNOWN.

Therefore, the NFA will be educating firearm owners to register ONLY the naked "frame or receiver" (see "Registering as Frame Only"). In that way, spare parts can be added as needed. True, that will complicate matters. Should the "naked receiver" of a Thompson-Center Contender be registered as a "restricted firearm" handgun, a "prohibited firearm" .32 calibre handgun, an unrestricted rifle, an unrestricted shotgun, or all of the above simultaneously? (It can fall into ANY or ALL of these classifications by interchanging uncontrolled "spare parts"). We pointed out that WE didn't design this ridiculous system of "unique identification". It was Ottawa's "experts" who included the definition of "firearm" which can make nonsense of the entire system when used creatively.

So gather up all the junker rifles and shotguns you can find, particularly those that can be DIFFICULT to "uniquely identify" from the data on the frame or receiver. Strip them down to "frame or receiver" or as near to that as is convenient/possible. Fill in all information blocks as "Unknown"and then apply to register them. You are NOT being unreasonable. You are being SAFE. Unless you are a world-class firearms expert (highly unlikely as almost no one in Canada is), you will likely make mistakes in filling in the information and, given the potential penalties, it is not worth the risk!

Registering Your Firearms As "Frame Only"

On the new firearm registration forms, question 2. asks "Is the firearm a frame/receiver only that is not intended to discharge ammunition." Tick this box and supply no other information. This is almost as good as registering as "UNKNOWN". It involves stripping all the parts off the firearm frame and demanding it be registered as "Frame Only". This way, the only descriptors capable of being filled in by the verifier are possibly the make and the serial number. There will be no barrel length or calibre because it has no barrel. You will want to have the verifier fill in the forms and sign them (making him/her responsible for the accuracy of the information on the form). Barrels, magazines, stocks, etc. are all uncontrolled spare parts. Nothing in law says they must be registered.

The best part about presenting a verifier with only the frame of a pistol is that on most pistols, the telltale identification stamps are on the slide.

Note: Don't screw yourself out of being grandfathered into owning the new class of prohibited firearms by stripping down all of your .25, .32 or guns with a barrel of less than 105 mm long. Save one example of these guns intact but strip the frames from the rest.

Also: Do not let the verifier simple copy the barrel length, calibre, etc. off of your old registration certificates. Insist these fields be left blank!

You can still fire the pistol. Just assemble it and go shooting. However, the law says you must tell the CFC within 30 days if the frame is ever made to be fired. If the police make a big deal about you having a fireable frame, tell them you just assembled it yesterday and that you still have 29 days to tell the CFC about the change in status. Disassemble the gun on day 28 and the clock stops. Wait two days and assemble the gun to start the clock running again. This will cause much difficulty for the government and this part of the Firearms Act is changed without opening the legislation again in front of Parliament (something they absolutely do not want to do).

Dual/Multiple Registration of Firearms

All long guns must be registered by Jan. 1,2003 and all firearms currently registered on green paper registration certificates must be re-registered by Jan. 1,2003.

The licencing backlog that developed last year when most people waited till late 2000 to apply for licences still hasn't been resolved, and the firearm registration "crunch" of 2002 is going to be much worse. The reason is that the average firearms owner only needs one licence but three registration certificates. That means the CFC will have to issue three times as many documents (at least) just to cover the guns of one owner. I say "at least" because they may have to issue much larger numbers of registration certificates, more than one per firearm.

"But, isn't it one registration certificate per firearm?" No, not necessarily. You may want to have your firearm registered to yourself, your wife and each of your three children, and a friend of yours who shoots at your club and borrows your firearms. That's six registration certificates for one firearm. It's desirable to do that for a variety of reasons: use of the firearm by more than one person, easing of inheritance, etc.

"I didn't think you could do that. I asked my local firearms control bureaucrat and he said I couldn't." So few firearms control bureaucrats know what they're talking about. They read what it says in the CFC's little handouts, and the CFC gets it wrong regularly. In the law, it tells you what you can really do, and the law is far more important than a CFC pamphlet. The law just says they cannot issue one registration certificate to two different people. It does not say they cannot issue two different registration certificates for one firearm and it does not say that the issuing of the second certificate voids the first one. So how does it work?

I have a firearm. My wife/daughter/friend calls 1-800-731-4000 and starts the transfer process. A new registration certificate is wife/daughter/friend. And that's it. If I gave or sold that firearm to the person with the new registration certificate, my registration certificate would "expire" at the moment I "ceased to be the owner" of that firearm-but I didn't. I just loaned her the firearm. For as long as she has my permission, the appropriate licence and her registration certificate, she can legally have that firearm. It was a transfer of registration, but not a transfer of ownership. That means that my registration certificate did not expire and was not revoked. The firearm is now legally registered to both her and me. The holder of that new registration certificate can now transfer the firearm again, to her son/father/friend. When he gets his registration certificate, there will be three valid registration certificates for that firearm, and all three people will be able to have it and use it.

That is, obviously, a great convenience. I expect that many, many Canadians will take advantage of this pattern of creative registration. If a firearm is registered to everyone, everyone can use it with a minimum of additional paperwork, and a minimum of interaction with firearms control bureaucrats. In the event of a death in the family, it will greatly ease the transfer process as the firearms are already registered to the heir.

This sort of registration is going to increase the number of registration certificates that must be issued at a time when the issuing bureaucrats are going to be overloaded. That, however, is not our fault. As taxpayers we pay all the salaries of all the bureaucrats and have a right to expect service from them and a duty to complain if the service is inadequate.

Space prevents us from printing the following articles. Call TSCON for copies.

-Deregistering Antique Firearms
-Selling, Leasing & Loaning
-Registration Options

T-Shirts/Sweat Shirts

We now have available for sale our popular "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts and sweat shirts. Both are very good quality an are available as follows:

T-shirts XL $16

T-shirts XXL $18

Sweats XL $20

Sweats XXL $22

Available at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.

2002 Memberships

If you received a 2002 membership card in this mailing your membership will expire on Dec. 31, 2001. Help us continue our work by supporting TSCON with a membership. Just $10 a year! Aren't your guns worth it?

Trigger Locks

To help you comply with the safe storage laws "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has trigger locks for sale. They aren't fancy and they take a few seconds to put on and take off but they are legal and, best of all, are cheap, only $2.00 each! Pick them up at the club table at the gun show or call any member of the Executive. We can provide large quantities if you need them.

Gun Show Location

Please note the new location for our gun shows:

Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave.
St. Catharines

If you would like tables at our next show (Dec. 14, 2001), you should contact Ted Valliere right away at 905-935-3893. Our first three shows sold out and we did not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!

TSCON Web Site

All our newsletters as well informative information are available on our web site:

Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686

Free Classified Ads for Members

Classified ads for shooting and hunting related items are free for members. Please call 905-685-4480 and submit ads by the following dates for inclusion in the latest newsletter:

>Vol. 8 #1 Jan. 15, 2002

>Vol. 8 #2 April 1, 2002

Classified Ads

For Sale: Iver Johnson Trailsman Model 66, top break revolver, 8 shot, 22 cal., 152 mm barrel, with case, $100; call Gerry 905-905-984-3431

Wanted: Guns for instruction of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course: The following models are needed: Winchester Model 94 (30-30) or any lever action: 12 ga. pump shotgun (prefer Remington but any will do): 22 cal. semi-auto w/detachable mag: condition doesn't matter as long as they work; call John 905-984-4189

For Sale: Smith & Wesson Mod. 57, .41 magnum, EX, $350; Smith & Wesson Mod. 52 w/Aimpoint red dot, EX, $700; Pietta 1858 Army, .44 cal., EX, $175; Beretta 686 Onyx Sporting Clays, 12 ga., ported, 28", adj. comb, chokes, EX, $1300; Merkel O/U, 12 ga., 28", VG, $1400; J.C. Higgins Mod. 20, 12 ga. pump, 27",VG, $175; Liberty Arms Stagecoach, 12 ga. SxS, 20", VG-EX, $350; offers considered on any or all; call Gerry 905-685-4480

Weekly Meetings

Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port Dalhousie

When? Wednesdays, 7:00 pm.

Who? Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.

Moved, Address Changes, Etc.

For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal of a name from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 685-4480.

TSCON Inquiries?

General       905-685-4480
Memberships   905-685-4480
Gun Show      905-935-3893
FAX           905-934-8039

Mail          Box 21047
              St. Catharines, ON
              L2M 7X2


The following members are winners in our latest draw. Please call Gerry at 905-685-4480 to arrange to pick up your prize.

Winner                            Prize                     Donated By

Lorne Adams - Fonthill            TSCON T-shirt             The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Thomas Elliott - Port Colborne    Stihl pocket knife        Niagara Saw
Wallace Hamilton - Niagara Falls  Hunting Equipment         Frontier Gun and Sport
V.& H. Marjoram - Niagara Falls   TSCON 2002 Membership     The Sporting Clubs of Niagara

Gun Show - Friday, Dec. 14, 6:00-10:00 pm

Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines

For tables call Ted @ 905-935-3893